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Wednesday, December 30, 2009
" Sing O' Barren"
As we look back to the year 1999, it was the year that brought us to the end of the age. It was also the last year before the new Century began. A Century is made up of one hundred years. Can you believe that one hundred years have come and gone and the New Year 2010 is the "first decade" of this new century. The end of something old always brings us to the beginning of something new. Old things are passed away and all things are become new. What can we expect in this New Year? In John 2:9-10, it reads “When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.” At the marriage feast of Cana, Jesus showed up with the power to turn water to wine and everyone thought the bridegroom had saved the best wine for last. Just as in the marriage feast of Cana the church has had some good wine in its beginnings but, we can expect to see the Hand of God move like never before because He has saved the best wine for last!
*** THE BARREN WIFE***
“Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the Lord.” Isaiah 54:1 There are two women in this verse of scripture, the barren woman with no children and the desolate woman with children. The word barren means sterile, unfruitful, unproductive and lacking. This barren woman, although her deep desire was to have children, had not borne any children. She was the married wife or the legitimate one who was called to have children. As the church of the Living God we can be compared to the married wife or the bride of Christ to give birth to spiritual children, yet, we have been barren! Yes, the church has been unfruitful, unproductive and lacking this past decade (a few mercy drops here and there). We are without true revival and our ministries have not been as productive as we would like them to be. Yet, we have been faithful with our intercessions and supplications and seen very little evidence of answered prayer. We are finishing up this decade the without seeing real fire in the church. The ministries that we were promised did not give birth as we thought, our households and in many cases our loved ones are still not all saved.
***THE DESOLATE WOMAN***
Yet, on the other hand, more are the children of the desolate bondwoman who is supposed to be deserted, forsaken, barren, and lifeless than the children of the married wife says the Lord. Beloved, as you look around, it could be that those who surround you have not been serving the Lord as faithful as you have and seem to be prospering. Pastor, it could be that you came out of a dead and lifeless religious system and began to teach the uncompromising Word, the born again experience and holiness, yet, the church down the street who doesn’t even believe in the born-again experience or teach any kind of holiness has been growing and busting out at the seams. Here you are, trying to teach that “little handful” of remnant believers to walk holy and work out their salvation daily and no matter how hard you pray, how faithful you’ve been to that flock, you see very little fruit. Your congregation seems to be diminishing right before your eyes. Many times you have been ready to throw in the towel. Well, beloved, DON’T DO IT. Today God has a word for you. The Lord has saved the best wine for last.
***UNFRUITFUL HANNAH WEEPS***
Remember barren Hannah, she was the married wife with no children who trusted in her Lord. On the other hand Peninnah had sons and would provoke Hannah by taunting her and saying, “I’m the favored one. God loves me more than you and has blessed me with many children and He’s forgotten you.” Hannah would weep sore and would not eat. She felt so rejected and unloved wondering why the Lord had forgotten her and favored others when she had loved Him and would do anything for Him. Church, have you ever been there? If you have, then you know what I mean. Many times we feel that modern day Peninnah taunts us and says look at me how great my church is or how well and prosperous I am. Hannah got confused and bitter and sometimes we can do the same. “And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore.” I Samuel 1:10. Yet, Hannah never left the foot of the cross. She stayed there on her knees because she had no where else to go and she vowed a vow if the Lord would give her a manchild she would give him unto the Lord all the days of his life.
***HANNAH FINALLY HAS A BABY***
The Lord heard Hannah’s prayer and extended mercy and grace to her. Hannah, whose name means grace, had been praying for years, yet something was not clicking in her prayer with God. I believe like most of us, sometimes we want ministries, churches full of people, new spiritual babes, and our loved ones saved for all the wrong reasons. The Lord, who knows the motives of the heart, cannot be touched with selfish prayers. Somehow she moved out of that place and prayed a prayer that moved the heart of God. She cried, “God, I want a manchild, but I’m also willing to give him up to be raised for your glory.” “Wherefore it came to pass, that when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the Lord.” I Samuel 1:20. Samuel means God has heard. Prayer Warrior, I prophesy that you will begin to see answers to your prayers—God has heard and we will see the Word of the Lord come to pass. Just recently an intercessor who loves the Lord and calls the prayer line often, shared with me that the Lord had promised her a ministry. She continued to share with me that she has been in a barren desert longer than she can remember. She said, “I feel so alone and if it wasn’t for this prayer line that connects me with other prayer warriors, I don’t know what I would do!” She proceeded to tell me that she used to play and teach piano but hadn’t touched it for years. Recently, to her surprise, she had picked it up again and the Lord sent her an unsaved young man by the name of Samuel whom she was going to teach piano. She asked for prayer for wisdom and perfect opportunity to minister to him. Immediately, the Holy Spirit leaped within me and said, “She is a barren praying Hannah, but God has heard her prayer and sent her a Samuel. She will no longer be a barren wife, but rather fruitful and bare spiritual children. I’ve prompted her to pick up that instrument of music and sing and play!” Isaiah 54:1, reads, “Sing O barren…” The first word in that chapter is SING. The Lord spoke something very profound here to that barren woman of Isaiah 54:1. He said, “Barren woman, it doesn’t matter that you haven’t had any children. Yes, it is true that the desolate woman has more children than you, but don’t look at the natural circumstances or how things may look. You are the married wife, the rightful heir and my promise is to you and I will bring it to pass, wherefore, SING!” Yes, beloved, this year let us sing and rejoice in the above promise of the Lord.
***CHILDREN OF THE PROMISE***
“For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? "Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.” Galatians 4:22-30. Yes, church we are the children of the promise and the son of the barren woman who is the son of the flesh shall not be heir. Although, we have been a barren married wife, this is the year to prepare for great blessings to flow into the church, families, and into our personal lives. Gross darkness on every side will continue for the wicked, but we will bear fruit and we will see God’s power move like never before.
In Isaiah 54:4, it reads, “Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.” I prophesy to the church of the Living God that we are not to fear over our troubled economy, the Middle East or any other situation in 2010. The Word of God reveals that in the past there have always been calamities, troubles, and great turmoils of one kind or another. When the floods came to destroy the earth in the time of Noah, God remembered him and his family and had an Ark prepared for their safety. In time of great famine, a butler remembered an interpreter of dreams whose name was Joseph. When Joseph, God’s chosen vessel for the hour stood in the king’s court, the Pharaoh of Egypt recognized him to be wise, discreet, and like no other. Joseph found great favor and was appointed over Pharaoh’s granaries as God’s Hand to feed the hungry during the famine. When Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, refused to bow their knee to Nebuchadnezzar’s image, they were thrust into the fiery furnace as punishment because of their stand for the one true God. The king, thinking to make them an example to all those who would dare defy him, never considered that the "God of the faithful" would step into the fire with them. When the king looked into the blazing hot flames, he exclaimed, “My God, I see three unharmed Hebrew children walking around in the fire and a fourth man walking with them that looks like the Son of God.” The Hebrew children came out of that fiery furnace without the smell of smoke on their clothes, and upon examination, no evidence of fire touching their bodies could be found. Because of their faith a whole nation turned to the one true God. We can be assured that there will always be an Ark, a Joseph or a people with a Hebrew like faith to escape the hour of tribulation. His timing will be perfect and His love and mercy will never cease. Surely it is a year to put our trust in the Lord and keep our eyes focused on Jesus. There may be many uncertainties in 2010 but the Almighty God by His Spirit will be with us and whatever the Lord speaks, do it, step out in faith and you will not be ashamed because He is with you! Church of the Living God let us break forth into singing and continue to cry out to Him for your situation of prayer and He will hear from His Holy Heaven.
***ENLARGE THY PLACE***
Isaiah 54:2-3 reads, “Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes; For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.” Church of the Living God, 2010 is time to enlarge the place of thy tent, expand, knock down walls, and build on additions. You will break forth on the right hand and on the left and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles and the desolate cities shall be inhabited. It’s a year to plan strategies on how to possess our cities and take what rightfully belongs to us. A year that we are to begin to prepare to bust out at the seams. The above scripture also says it’s time to stretch forth the curtains of our habitation. Surely, it is a year of stretching us to our full potential! Yield to Him and let Him do it!
***GOD’S LOVE WILL PREVAIL***
“For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee. For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.” Isaiah 54:9-10 Church of the Living God, He says to you, “Just as I promised Noah never to again send floods to destroy the earth, and set my rainbow as a sign in the heavens of my love, mercy, and covenant, so I say the same to you. Although you have experienced the floods of trials, tribulations and sorrows in the past, no more will this be: My kindness shall not leave you nor shall my covenant of peace be removed from you.”
***I WILL REBUILD YOU***
“O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones.” Isaiah 54:11-12. Church of the Living God, you have been afflicted in the past, but the Lord says, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken. Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate. The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.” Psalms 34:19-22. There is that word again, “desolate”. This promise guarantees you will not be desolate or fruitless anymore. Isaiah compares this barren woman to a ship that has been tempest tossed, which means that the Church of the Living God has been in a few storms, strong winds, and some of her sails have been torn, broken, and tattered, this past decade, yet she hasn’t gone down, but rather the anchor still holds. The enemy has shot torpedoes at her and hasn’t been able to sink her. She has kept her eyes on course and her face set like flint. The word of God (Bible) has mapped out her course and the Holy Ghost has been her compass for direction. The compass always reading without fail, "Don’t turn to the left or the right, but keep pressing on in spite of the strong winds, obstacles, and afflictions." Beloved, the Mighty One has been with her and lead her into a safe harbor, surely He has been our Lighthouse!
***A SURE FOUNDATION***
In the above scripture He promises to rebuild the barren married wife on a sure foundation of sapphires and her walls from precious jewels and make her towers a sparkling agates and shining gems. Further He promises to make her “holy cities” (cities of refuge) where she will become a citizen of a greater kingdom of Glory. Church of the Living God, we are getting ready to see the tables turned on our enemies. The wealth of the wicked will be put into the hands of the just, and His loved ones will be great for Him. He promises to build our foundation of sapphires. This precious stone formed the pavement under the feet of the God of Israel. “And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in His clearness.” Exodus 24:10. Also, the throne of Glory gazed on by the prophet Ezekiel had the appearance of a sapphire stone “And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone:..” Ezekiel 1:26. The sapphire stone’s meaning is also connected with polishing and being set apart. We must be willing to let the Holy Spirit polish us as His people and allow Him to set us apart from the world. Isaiah 54:15-17, “Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake. Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy. No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.” Church of the Living God, your enemies are going to stay far from you and you will live in peace. Terrorism shall not come near you and if a nation comes to fight you, it will not be sent by the Lord to punish you, therefore He will rise up on your behalf and rout it unto a different direction because He is on your side. No weapon turned against you shall succeed. These are the blessings church that the Lord Jesus has in store for us. Therefore, Sing, O church. You are going to begin to bare and be fruitful this year. To God Be the Glory!